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the madness and wickedness in each poem. This essay will include three of Robert Browning's poems; they are Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory.

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In this essay I hope to prove that Robert Browning's murder mystery poems are fulfilled with intrigue and excitement. I also hope to prove that in his poems he creates vivid characters and uses poetic techniques to expose a world of madness and wickedness. To show that the statements above are true I will be writing about the characters, the poetic features in each poem and the madness and wickedness in each poem. This essay will include three of Robert Browning's poems; they are Porphyria's Lover, My Last Duchess and The Laboratory. Robert Browning was born on the seventh of May in eighteen twelve in Camberwell a suburb of London. He was the first child of Robert and Sarah Anna Browning. His mother was an accomplished pianist and his Father was a clerk in the Bank of England. Robert Browning was largely self-taught. He was an extremely bright child and a voracious reader. By the time he was fourteen he had learned Latin, Greek, French and Italian. He attended the University of London in eighteen twenty eight but left in discontent to pursue his reading at his own pace. In eighteen forty six he married Elizabeth Barrett and moved to Florence, Italy. He moved back to London in eighteen sixty one but spent his final years with his only son back in Italy. He died in eighteen eighty nine and is buried in Poet's Corner of Westminster Abbey. He wrote his first poem 'Pauline' in eighteen thirty three. Browning wrote during the romantic era in the nineteenth century. ...read more.


The second poem is My Last Duchess which was one of Browning's first monologues. In this poem the Duke is telling a story to one of his guests at a party. They are walking around the Duke's house looking at pictures and in particular the picture of the Duke's last wife who has died. The Duke is speaking in the poem and through what he says and how he says it we gain an impression of him also through him we learn about his wife, the last Duchess. We learn a great deal about the Duke's character by hearing how he thought and felt about his wife. The Duke is manipulative, devious, cold, and filled with family pride, 'My gift of a nine-hundred-year-old name with anybody's gift'. He was a cold man and was very stern. 'And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst'. He was a very jealous man and had little time for his wife, he never told her what he thought or felt, like when he thought she was having an affair with the artist he never confronted her about it. 'Sir,'t was not her husband's presence only, called that spot of joy on the Duchess' cheek'. The Duke thought he was important and that he was superior to other people. 'E'en then would be some stooping; and I choose never to stoop.' He thought his wife was below him, 'who stoop to blame'. ...read more.


Alliterations 'brand, burn up, bite' symbolizes her state of mind and her viciousness. It has the rhyming scheme of abab. The speaker's madness and wickedness is shown through her enjoyment of watching the apothecary make the poison and the way she plans how she is going to kill her lover's mistress. 'I am not in haste' this shows her satisfaction in watching the poison being made. She thinks of different ways she can give the poison to her. 'To carry pure death in an ear-ring, a casket, a signet, a fan-mount, a filigree basket'. Her wickedness is shown when she tells the apothecary that she wants the poison to be attractive so when it is horrible it is more of a shock. 'The colour's too grim. Why not soft phial's, enticing, dim? Let it brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir, and try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer'. She also shows her wickedness again in the fact that she wants her lover's mistress to die in pain with him watching her die. I enjoyed all three of the poems but I especially liked reading and studying The Laboratory because I thought it was interesting the way someone could have such a cold attitude to killing someone and actually be eager to do so. All three poems were written as dramatic monologues and they were all about a lover or husband killing their lover or wife because of stupid reasons. I enjoyed the way the poem was written because you felt like you were actually there and they were speaking to you. ...read more.

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